Universal Oddities
September 5, 2002

Iraqi Embassy Blues - Reprise

A continuation of:
Iraqi Embassy Blues - Part One
Iraqi Embassy Blues -Part Two


“Have we taken control of the Iraqi embassy in Berlin?”

“I suppose the short answer to that would be ‘yes’.”

“What would the long answer be?”

“It would be a very intricate lie.”

“Then I would say that those people are hostages!”


“No they’re not. Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Then ask them to leave.”

“It’s their option.”

“Then tell them they can leave.”

“I wouldn’t want to force them into anything they’re uncomfortable with. That would be coercion.”

“You’re keeping them here against their wills then.”

“Well, I don’t suppose they’d want to go anywhere else.”

“Why not?”

“There are a lot of people with guns outside.”

“Because of us!”

“We don’t know that. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to just assume why they’re here. Perhaps it’s completely unrelated to us. There’s absolutely no reason to jump to that conclusion. It’s just not an intellectually honest thing to do.”

“What else could they be here for?”

“To inspect the plumbing.”

“To inspect the plumbing?”


“With guns?”

“I don’t know. I’m not a plumber. I’m just throwing ideas out there.”

Some German phrases echoed around the building over a loudspeaker.

“What are they saying?” I asked.

“Hmm... let me see...” The German phrases were repeated. “‘We’re here to fix the plumbing,’ I think.”

“They’re here to get us!”

“It’s all a matter of semantics. German is a very rich, confusing language.”

“You’re an ass.”

Suddenly realizing that we’d, most likely, taken over the Iraqi embassy, I began recounting the events leading up to the moment, piecing together the clues that, on their own, had seemed so meaningless and irrelevant: the siege equipment, the tear gas, the commando outfits, the dancing bear, what I now realized to be a transatlantic flight...

To top it all off, copies of Saddam Hussein’s novels littered the building. I picked up a copy of Zabibah and the King from a nearby table and flipped through it to calm myself, examining the extensive marginalia.

After a few moments of leisurely reading, cracking sounds were heard as police stormed the building. I sat quietly, attempting to prepare an explanation that would believably set forth the circumstances behind my odd placement within the Iraqi embassy under siege in a commando outfit, armed with tear gas. I’d always wondered how anyone could possibly get into situations so incriminating, accidentally overlooking the fact that they were placing themselves into extremely delicate circumstances such as those at the scene of a murder, for instance, holding the bloody weapon aloft, or perhaps those at the scene of a bank robbery, sack of stolen money in hand, or perhaps those with regard to the Iraqi embassy, in possession of hostages and tear gas.

I waited in quiet expectation. Nobody came. Very odd, I thought to myself. I should most certainly be unconscious by now. Standing, I moved to look through a window. The police had stormed the building next to ours. I paused in confusion.

“What’s going on?” I asked, approaching my comrades. “Why aren’t we in custody yet?”

“You see, this isn’t the Iraqi embassy after all.”

“It isn’t?”

“No. Not at all.”

“You mean this is actually a mock embassy?”

“No. It turns out that we’ve taken control of the building next to the Iraqi embassy.”

“Next to the Iraqi embassy?”

“Yes. The Iraqi embassy II; the sequel to the Iraqi embassy.

“What the hell’s the sequel to the Iraqi embassy?”

“The first embassy did so well, they branched off and did a sequel. And we’re in it now.”

“What about the Iraqi embassy?”

“Some other group’s apparently taken that one over.”

“Oh. But doesn’t anyone care about the sequel to the Iraqi embassy?”

“I guess not.”

“Why not?”

My comrade shrugged. “I guess, overall, nobody really cares as much about sequels.”

“They never quite capture the essence of the original,” another of my comrades explained. “They’re usually just around to capitalize on popularity.”

“I suppose it’s all about marketing in the end,” I agreed as we proceeded out of the building. I paused to take one last look at the sequel to the Iraqi embassy before my eyes were pulled to a group being led out of the Iraqi embassy beside it. Although the buildings themselves were nearly identical for all intents and purposes, I realized that my comrades were right; the sequel wasn’t really as good.

Relieved, I got into the car and contemplated my luck as we sped off to the sound of squealing tires, tear gas in hand, this time toward the scene of the real New Years party.




Copyright © 2000-2002 Jacques. All rights reserved.